• Sonvela Social Impact Investing

    We invest in our people. They are building the future of Cape Verde.

  • Why

    What has made Sonvela change the way it works

    Cabo Verde, 2020


    Cape Verde has built a reputation as a fast developing country in recent years, mainly because of big investments focused on the tourism sector. Parts of the islands of Sal and Boa Vista have been transformed to accommodate many thousands of people who choose the destination for the large hotels and resorts along beautiful sandy and sunny beaches.


    As the tourism sector in the country continues to develop, we also see the issues tied to relying too heavily on one sector for the growth of the country. Although many Cape Verdeans are employed thanks to the foreign investments in the tourism sector, the way they are treated by the employers (and a lack of protection from their own government) raises a lot of questions.


    The Cape Verdean tourism sector is a very good but sad example of a sector in which the Cape Verdeans have little to no control. The same goes for commerce, something that is well explained by activist Zandir Santos in his videos. This creates a situation where today might not look all that bad for the country, with large foreign investments and partnerships and the creation of new jobs that comes with it.


    However, the lack of control in two of the most important sectors of the country does not look good long term. Consider the agreements between Cape Verde and the EU regarding the fishing industry as well, and it leaves little room for the next generation of Cape Verdeans to become anything more than a disposable day laborer.

    "What are the most important problems in your field? And why aren't you working on them?"

    - Richard Hamming

    The Solution


    One thing that the government in Cape Verde is doing well at the moment, is the work within the Tech & Startup scene. A lot has changed in the last few years. Today, several initiatives such as the Startup Weekend, different Startup Challenges and meetups exist to help founders and entrepreneurs build their companies. This has created a very interesting group of incredibly talented and motivated problem solvers.


    As I've gotten more into technology in the last few years, I started to better understand the concept of 'problem solving'. Because of this, I also began to understand why a lot of tech and tech-enabled products are so disruptive.


    When it comes to tech entrepreneurs, their strength is not only about the tech they create but for the mindset they have. They can identify a problem, and create a pathway towards a solution. These problems can be small problems they face themselves or in their own environment, or (and often at the same time), are problems that many people face and the solution is therefor something that is very welcome when it's brought to market.


    It's this exact mindset that we need to solve critical problems in the Cape Verdean society. Problems that so many, including high profile politicians, have already accepted as just being the norm. Unacceptable for me, and especially when there is a group of new generation founders and entrepreneurs with the skillset to address these issues.


    Join me and my partners on this exciting yourney today!

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    "Every step of the way, to everyone around us, we should be asking the question, what are you building? What are you building directly, or helping other people to build, or teaching other people to build, or taking care of people who are building? If the work you’re doing isn’t either leading to something being built or taking care of people directly, we’ve failed you, and we need to get you into a position, an occupation, a career where you can contribute to building. There are always outstanding people in even the most broken systems — we need to get all the talent we can on the biggest problems we have, and on building the answers to those problems." - Marc Andreesen, A16Z.com

  • The Blog

    The future of charity and investing in Cape Verde